Security 'lock' at Racers Grand Prix
ORGANISERS of the June 10 Racer's Grand Prix at the National Stadium yesterday announced unprecedented levels of security at the meet as well as to safeguard international athletes from arrival to departure.
Senior Superintendent of Police Steve McGregor is the man in charge of security an said athletes will get high-level security from the moment they step off the plane and right throughout their stay in the island.
Violent uncertainty has engulfed the globe with the threat of terrorism from which sporting and entertainment events have not been spared. The recent bombing at a concert in Manchester, England, and a bombing near German football team Borrusia Dortmund's team bus are among the incidents.
"We have ramped up security. We are aware what's happening around the world and Jamaica is a soft target, so we are pulling out all stops to ensure athletes and patrons are safe and have a safe meet, said McGregor.
24 hours security
"At arrival, all athletes will be met and taken to the location they will be housed. They will be afforded 24 hours security, to and from their location. They will be afforded security to training and security for any engagement prior to the meet."
On the day, the Jamaica Constable Force (JCF) will have number-one security responsibilities, supported by Atlas Protection and Securicor.
"They (security firms) will be responsible for crowd control and movement of patrons to and from the stadium," said McGregor, also encouraging patrons to car pool, noting that a shuttle service will be provided from Cross Roads and Half-Way Tree to the stadium and back after the meet.
Media access will also be highly restricted with only established media houses and International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF) media to be accredited. A media centre with Wi-Fi, video boards and live feed, courtesy of Television Jamaica, will be provided for other media outlets.
McGregor pointed out that only photographers aligned to major media houses and IAAF media photographers will be accredited.
"It is unfair to athletes and promoters that you give credence to photographers who exploit the images of the athletes and the content of the production," he said.
Meanwhile, a number of new athletes, headlined by Elaine Thompson, were also confirmed. Others include English Gardner, Angela Teronio (Ecuador), Shericka Jackson, Francena McCorory, Sally Pearson, Daniel Williams, Nia Ali, Cassandra Tate, Shameir Little and Kimberley Williams
The meet, which will be Bolt's last local appearance, has already attracted world stars such as David Rushida, Mo Fara and Wayde Van Neikerk, among others.